MNA life Style Desk: When stress enters any relationship, it has the potential to create distance, disagreements and disconnection. But by supplying a steady supply of support for your partner when he or she is stressed, not only can you help prevent your relationship from becoming strained, you can create a new level of intimacy that actually brings you both closer together.
Don’t assume the top-of-mind topics are really the issue. Look beneath the surface. Retrace your partner’s steps to find events or circumstances that could have caused hurt, sadness, anger, disappointment, rejection or similar emotions. If you can be of assistance with the real issue at hand, ask your partner if you can take steps to do so.
Consider that you or your actions may be part of the stress your partner is feeling. Release your partner from any demands that led to the most-recent stress response. Also, don’t overwhelm your partner with talk about the problem. This adds to her stress. Allow your partner time to calm down after stressful periods, such as when she comes home from work. Help by creating space for her to process her emotions and rest.
Financial stress triggers relationship stress. If your partner is dealing with a layoff, salary cut, working longer hours or more than one job to keep head above water, expect that stress to come home with her. Know that you may bear the brunt of her anger and frustration. Be a part of the solution. Discuss ways to resolve the financial problems and quickly act on them — whether it means cutting expenses, getting another source of income, moving, selling items or negotiating with creditors.
As work life and other responsibilities spill over into family time, fight back to manage your time at home. Give time to your relationship. Let your partner know that no priority is more important than her.